A demonstrator who got up and shouted “Terrorist!” at Turkey’s president during a speech at a hotel was grabbed by bodyguards and rushed out of the hall as others in the emotional crowd pushed, shoved and shouted.
It happened at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square yesterday while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was speaking to a large audience at an event organised by the Turkish American National Steering Committee.
Another demonstrator unfurled a banner for a banned Kurdish group and was escorted out. Order was restored fairly quickly, and Erdogan continued his address.
Police said one security officer suffered a minor injury. It was unclear whether the men in suits who ejected the demonstrator from the hall were U.S. Secret Service agents, private security guards hired for the event or members of Erdogan’s security detail. But it did not appear that Turkish security officials were involved, the U.S. Department of State said.
In May, Turkish security officials were seen on video hitting and kicking peaceful protesters who had gathered outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C., during a US visit by Erdogan.
Nineteen people were indicted last month in the beatings, including 15 identified as Turkish security officials.